A Shot In The Arm For Warhawks

The ULM Warhawks got the shot in the arm they needed rallying for a dramatic 64-63 victory in their final home game of the 2009 season inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum. The victory was some what bittersweet as the Warhawks lost Rudy Turner to an ankle injury in the second half.

The sound of "glory days" was playing inside Fant-Ewing Coliseum moments after the ULM Warhawks thrilling 64-63 victory over the visiting Arkansas State Red Wolves. The atmosphere and electricity did remind a lot of ULM fans of the old glory days of ULM basketball. On this night the Warhawks looked like the 2007 Sun Belt conference champions.

ULM fell behind early in the contest as ASU jumped out to a 11-2 lead with 15:32 left in the first half. The Red Wolves would continue to set the pace in the half and held a 21-14 advantage with just over 10 minutes left in the half. It wasn't until the 7:44 mark that ULM would catch up to ASU and tie the game at 25.

Both teams would go back and forth with the Warhawks taking a slim 33-32 lead to the half.

In the second half there would be seven lead changes and two ties before ASU took a 40-39 lead with 15:00 left. That 15:00 mark also marks a critical moment in the game for the Warhawks as "Rudy" Raphael Turner would hobble off the court with an ankle injury and not return for the remainder of the game.

With the big man gone ASU started to assert itself inside and extend their lead to 49-41 at the 10:39 mark.

ULM would chip away at the lead and get it down to as many as two at 53-51 but ASU always had an answer and pushed the lead back up to 7 at 58-51 with 6:45 left.

A big three pointer by Kenneth Averette followed by a slam dunk by Dynile Forbes drew the Warhawks within two, 58-56 and got the fans back into the game.

ASU would hold a very slim lead down the stretch as this one would come down to the very final seconds of the game.

Trailing 63-60, Dynile Forbes drove the lane, got fouled, and sank both free throws to bring the Warhawks within 1, 63-62.

ULM would be forced to foul with the shot clock off and do so with :27 seconds left. ASU's IFEANYL KOGGU would step to the line and clank both free throws but was able to get his own rebound and ULM was forced to foul him again.

Facing a 1 & 1 situation, Koggu missed again and this time Afame Nweke (10 rebounds) would control the rebound.

ULM would put the ball into the hands of their best playmaker Dynile Forbes and let him go to work. Driving the left hand side of the lane Forbes got a step on ASU defender Yima Chia-Kur and drew the foul.

Forbes stepped to the line and calmly sank both free throws to give ULM a 64-63 lead. After a time out ASU would go to their money man on the night Donald Boone (18 points) but his shot was long and senior Afam Nweke grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

ULM was led on the night by Malcolm Thomas with 18 points followed by Lawrence Gilbert's 12. Forbes and Averette each had 11 with Nweke chipping in 6 in his final home game.

With the win ULM moves to 10-19 on the season and snapped a 4 game losing streak with the victory. The Warhawks will wait to see who they draw in the first round of the Sun Belt playoffs next week.


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